E.P. Review: Rat King - Santa Hipocresía
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings
Following up their full-length release ‘Vicious Inhumanity’, this 15-minute E.P. is a gnarly introduction to Seattle death/grind merchants Rat King. It’s not one that you’ll want to play at Christmas dinner unless you have a granny who likes blistering speed drumming, indecipherable death growls and guitars that sound like piledriving equipment operated by Satan himself.
Vocalist and bassist Daniel Racines presents as a man possessed by demons, so harrowing are his guttural roars that permeate this release. Huge riffs, searing lead breaks and a wall of noise so intense that standing up after listening to it with headphones meant that I needed to grab hold of some furniture to steady myself.
The title track kicks things off, a searing riff exploding out of the darkness, joined by thunderous drumming, and pounding bass which cement the backline support that the band possess. Those demonic roars give way to aggression-soaked growls, all very much in keeping with the translation of the track, which is ‘Holy Hypocrisy’.
The remaining songs on the E.P. are equally ferocious, and if anything, even more visceral. The frantic pace that drives each track sees them fly by in a flurry of blast beats. The clamour of ‘False Prophet’ is over in just over a minute, a maelstrom of punishing riffs that cascade like water over a burst riverbank. It’s relentless, powerful, and unsurprisingly an acquired taste. If you like your death metal blended with elements of grindcore and all of it delivered in a dirt-soaked style, then bow down to the Rat King, for this is one for you.